At the 88th Academy Awards Sunday night, host Chris Rock gave a blistering opening monologue aimed squarely at the #OscarsSoWhite controversy to riotous, and at times nervous, laughter from the crowd. The host took aim at the nominating categories for Best Actor and Best Actress, joking, “Welcome to the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the White People Choice Awards.”
He also used his monologue to lightly jab at Jada Pinkett Smith, who boycotted this year’s awards show, noting she likely would not have been invited anyway.
“We want opportunity,” the host said on a more somber note, calling for black actors to have equal footing at great roles in Hollywood.
The comedian teased what he called a “blackout” for the telecast on Friday, affectionately dubbing this year’s Academy Awards as “the White BET Awards”. After no black actors were nominated for the prime performance awards this year, many even called for Rock to boycott the award show altogether.
Watch the above video from ABC.
[image via screengrab]
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